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World War III

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  • World War III

    If earth ever has a third world war what do you think would be the causes, nations, and possible years that it would last?
    Jay Patterson

  • #2
    I presume you mean a conventional war? Some might say that the "War Against Terror" is already a third world war on account of the global nature.

    I would suggest that if there were a conventional WWIII, it could run along the following lines:

    1) War starts in the Middle East following a build-up of tension between Israel and Arab nations. I wouldn't like to suggest who the aggressor would be, it could go either way I suppose, but the USA would get itself sucked in on the basis of its friendship with Israel and current hostility towards the Arabic states. Europe and Russia may get involved purely on the basis of geographical proximity to the area. Ultimately, the scope of the war may expand along religious lines with other Muslim nations joining in the fray - turning it into a proper World War.

    2) China finally achieves proper Superpower status, its economy becomes the largest in the world and the country's leaders decide that it's OK to start throwing their weight around. They begin by invading Taiwan and it all goes downhill from there. Due to the size of the Chinese forces, USA and allies are forced to directly intervene with everything they've got short of nuclear weapons to stop the entire region being dominated by the Chinese, including using Russian airbases to attack from the north.

    3) The UN finally decides to do something about North Korean nuclear weapons program. North Koreans aren't very happy about this. Big fight ensues.

    I hasten to add here that I am speaking as a layman - since I'm not much of an expert on anything. No doubt someone will be able to put me straight as to why some or all of the above scenarios are non-starters!

    I am a true Armchair General - with the emphasis on the Armchair bit.


    Dr. S.
    Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.


    • #3

      A "World War III" would likely last no more than six months, if we are talking about nearly continuous major operations, this due to the expense. Modern combat operations are exponentially more expensive than in previous eras, even major economies such as the US would go bankrupt in short order. With due regard to those who fought, most of what happened in Iraq was not major operations.

      Why? Almost certainly one of two reasons: over resources, a sort of have/have not situation; or over territory, similar to above. The latter idea has special significance, given India's and Pakistan's decades-old wrangling over Jammu and Kashimir and the possession of nuclear weapons by both. A major war due to some "brushfire" conflict, or a third world conflagration is highly unlikely. No major industrialized nation is going to commit themselves to war over Costa Rica, Angola or Cambodia.

      Possible troubles could be a border dispute between a NATO nation and a non-NATO neighbor, say Poland and Belarus, Greece and Romania, or Norway and Sweden.

      Even a conflict within NATO may spark a major incident that snowballs into global war. England and Norway could comew to blows over oil drilling right in the North Sea, or there could be a border war between members (Spain-Portugal, France Belgium).

      The nations involved would be tailored to the cause, though it would almost have to involve a NATO member, if not the entire alliance.
      Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
      (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)


      • #4
        Well, in some literature, WWIII started with a) German Reunification by force (ala Twilight 2000)... which obviously doesn't apply anymore; b) Sino-Soviet war... (again Twilight 2000) and not very likely now; c) European border disputes (ethnic Germans in Poland, and any place in the Balkans... ala Merc 2000); e) Chinese expansion; f) Japanese re-militarization; g) Korea; h) Russian civil war (in which just about everyone backs different factions); i) India vs. Pakistan; and j) the Middle East.

        The Middle-East will always exist as a flash point, as will Korea and Taiwan for the long-ish-term.

        Central Asia isn't exactly a picnic, and neither would be a resurgent Russia looking to get back it's feared superpower status.

        China might start flexing some muscle over the Parcel and Spratly island groups, nevermind Taiwan. Then you've got Pakistan and India who don't trust each other.

        'All' it would really take would be for some ultra-nationalists to come to power and think they can get away with being aggressive while the masses 'want' and support them... nothing really different from the past two world wars once alliances and national interests start kicking in.

        I talked with a older Polish Air Force officer last year when he was in town and he said the only real chance the Soviets ever had was back in the 50s and 60s. By the time Vietnam rolled around, they were so far behind technologically and combat-effective-wise, they couldn't have pursued a victory in Europe for fear of losing everywhere else at the same time. I don't know how true it is, but it sounded interesting.
        If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.


        • #5
          Are there any potential nations capable of producing such a war?


          • #6
            Do you mean starting the world down the road towards WWIII or just outright starting it by itself and tomorrow the apocalypse begins?

            I think only the US, Russia, and China could throw everyone directly into a world war. Any other 'player' would have to start a cascading chain of events that (if left to it's own inertia) eventually would lead to the three big powers getting involved. Without at least two of the three, you won't have a world war per se.

            All of this assumes you're talking about conventional warfare and not economic/trade, political, or other unconvential warfare. You could consider the 'war' on terror a world war pitting the US and 'current' allied nations versus anyone doing anti-American things off the conventional battlefield. If left completely unchecked and having no bounds, it 'could' lead to WWIII, but the likelihood is so remote, it's barely worth a 'what if...' since the chain of events is so unlikely and so easy to avoid. The possibility of WWIII occuring over Korea or Vietnam was much greater.
            If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.


            • #7
              Originally posted by jivetalk0810
              Are there any potential nations capable of producing such a war?
              War in the 21st Century will move so quickly that hopefully anything that happens will be over before too many nations are economically forced to take sides.
              Lance W.

              Peace through superior firepower.


              • #8
                I think another possible scenario is an arab coalition going after israel again(as has happened so many times in the past). If successful, the Israelis deploy their nukes(the Samson complex) which would cuase immediate reaction from the rest of the world. Whta that would entail is anybodys guess, and would depend on the scope of the nuclear deployment...
                " If it be now, tis not to come: if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all"


                • #9
                  With how technology is and the economic burden long-term ops entails, we will never see a war like WW2 (thank goodness). However, the downside to that is in WW2, you had a clear-cut enemy. Now, with the War on Terror, that's very hard to define on a global scale. Here in the U.S. it's easy because terror is anyone who seeks to cause harm to the nation by attacking civilians for the purpose of furthering their cause. At least Libya came to their senses and are trying to become a peaceful member of the world community (though they still have a ways to go)
                  Pvt. Bob Mana,
                  Co. B, 3rd Maryland Vol. Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corps, Union Army of the Potomac

                  For the Union


                  • #10
                    I have a book I picked up in a used book-sale for 'bout $6. It's called Total War 2006 And was published in the late 90's. Now, it's view of how WWIII works out is this:
                    A) Russia is returning to the world scene, only now with a professianal army, not a conscript one, and it invades Latvia. US and NATO/UN intervene, but Russia had beem working with the Middle East who have been united by a charasmatic leader samed Saladin (after the hero from the Crusades) who then attack Israel with Bio-Weapons. US carriers are destroyed/damaged in the harbours whith a suicidal strike. Etc. etc. And yes, Israel does try and bring down the Middle East as it falls. And I won't ruin the end. Good book, told like a newspaper (half newspaper and half 3rd-person fiction) account from someone looking back at the war including bogus references to books written about the war, a cool toutch :thumb:

                    **** 1/2 stars


                    • #11
                      US vs. a united terrorist army is what i think would happen


                      • #12

                        War in the 21st Century will move so quickly that hopefully anything that happens will be over before too many nations are economically forced to take sides.
                        sadly, i must diagree. a war now, if it was between two major military or economic powers, would probably not be short, mainly because most such nations have allies who would nearly immediatly come to there aid as well as a standing military and resonably strong economy. Of course, if someone managed to take a nation quickly, before anyone could intervene, it might end peaceably. i personally think that wouldn't happen, as no country wants any other country not on close relations to have more than they do now.


                        • #13
                          WWIII might start with China invading Taiwan. This would led to the US coming to Taiwan's aid and escalating from there.

                          Another avenue for war would be "brush-wars" that spiral out of control and absorb other nations into the fray.


                          • #14
                            One of my English friends sugjested this scenario from his own (biased ) opinion.

                            The EU (Europe) unite together into one nationality with Russia (or not one nationality but a close group, like the US states but more states rights) and the US, fearful of loosing it's position as head honcho on the world scene, declares war.

                            Not likely, but then again, he was biased against America. Thoughts?


                            • #15
                              To tell you the truth I have thought about a EU vs. US scenario before. I think the invasion Iraq really opened the eyes of some european nations, that the US could invade any country and France and Germany couldn't do a damn thing.

                              Plans are on the drawing board for a EU military, combined from all members. The French recently held joint naval excercises with the Chinese. Perhaps at some point in the future the US and the EU could get in a dipute over something like Iraq, or economy, or a unified world goverment, and come to blows with one another.

                              Of course this is kind of a overly pessimistic view of things, as I think we are still on decent terms with our European friends (UK, eastern europe etc.) But its just an idea for a possible WW3 scenario.


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